Friday, October 12, 2007

Jane Ellen Harrison

Jane Ellen Harrison (1850 – 1928) was a ground-breaking British classical scholar, linguist and feminist. Harrison is one of the founders of modern studies in Greek mythology. She applied 19th century archaeological discoveries to the interpretation of Greek religion in ways that have become standard. Harrison learned: initially German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew, later expanded to about sixteen languages, including Russian.
Harrison carries myth-ritualism further than Frazer in conferring on myth the same magical power contained in the ritual. “A myth,” says Harrison, “becomes practically a story of magical intent and potency” (Themis, p. 330).

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